Riverview fire kills woman, husband badly injured

6:21 PM, Jan 27, 2014   |    comments
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Riverview, Florida -- Hillsborough County firefighters put out flames at a house in Riverview that left killed one woman and left her husband in critical condition early Monday morning. 

Authorities say the fire started before 7:30 a.m. in the front bedroom of the Williams' home at on Alafia Drive. 

"I was out in the back and smelled the smoke and then I saw their house blanketed in smoke," said the Williams' neighbor Frank Hannaway. 

Hannaway is living with his mother who has lived next to 71-year-old Carol and 81-year-old Richard Williams for decades.

"I grabbed my cell phone and ran over to start banging on the doors and windows, but I could see how thick and dark the smoke was. It was just filling up the whole house," said Hannaway. "I called 911 and they said not to go inside. I could tell the windows were hot."

Firefighters arrived and knocked out the fire in about 10 minutes.  Once they started, another rescue crew went in and found Carol deceased in the front bedroom where the fire was contained. They found Richard near a door, alive but unconscious. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital. 

Firefighters said a heating pad left on a chair in the front bedroom is what caused the fire.

"I just hope what I did, calling 911 as soon as I did helped saved his life," said Hannway. "I wish it could have saved both of them."

Fire rescue said elderly people are more susceptible to being overcome with smoke but that smoke alarms were going off at the time firefighters arrived.

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